Well, there it is: no late season collapse robbing us of our newfound feeling of entitlement to playoff hockey, just another afternoon domination of the perpetually rebuilding Islanders. The Senators clinch a playoff spot to top off what has been a long and thoroughly fucking awesome season of Senators hockey.
A few thoughts:
1) Turris: I’ve been as vocal as anyone from the day Rundblad was traded to Phoenix that I didn’t like the trade. I’ve maintained that Rundblad could have been the centerpiece of some larger, better trade, and moreover, was nowhere near his full trade value when sent packing. But it’s games like today’s that make a man admit when he looks wrong. And Turris made me look wroooooooong today. The casual way he delayed on that first goal was a delicious marinara sauce. I can admit it. He looks great.
2) The Islanders: you know, I’ve also kind of felt for a while that the Islanders, while of course a bit of a joke for all of the obvious reasons, were running a really solid rebuild. They’ve drafted and developed their prospects patiently. They’ve locked up their core players. They have great prospects coming up. They should be active in the offseason, possibly trading for veteran contracts from teams who’ve bottomed out. (If I was Garth Snow, I’d be the first one to call Montreal’s new GM, Pierre McGuire.) They’re probably moving to Brooklyn, which is an awesome place. I truly do believe that there will come a season, and pretty soon, when the Islanders will be the team-du-jour to get behind.
But you know, there are times when you’re watching the New York Islanders, with Al Fucking Montoya in net, and JOHN FUCKING GRAHAME backing him up, and you just have to think that the Islanders will be hopeless forever. Is there any franchise other than the Islanders that you could picture having a goaltending tandem of Montoya and Grahame? What a bunch of maroons.
3) First round match ups: I’m sure there’s going to be about a million articles about first round match ups for you folks in the next few days and weeks, but I’m getting some early worrying done about facing Boston. Florida is obviously everyone’s favorite dance partner, and I’d rather face the New York Rangers any day of the week. Needless to say, now that we’ve clinched I’ll be cheering Washington on a bit to take over that 7th seed.
4) Earlier today I saw an old woman fall down some stairs outside a church: don’t worry, she was okay, but she’ll have a real goose egg over her right eye. I told her it’ll look really badass. She didn’t agree.
5) You know who I’m kind of sick of? Chris Neil: I mean, I get it. A tough guy who can chip in some goals is worthwhile, and the way he drew that penalty shows that he can be a useful pest rather than one of those ‘remnants of the way the game used to be played’ pests. But during games like this, when you’re missing two top six forwards and he’s a key veteran who you expect to step up, you can really see the limit of his abilities. I like him because he’s a Senator, but I can imagine being a fan of another team and detesting Neil.
6) What’s your favorite Sens playoff goal? Mine is Dean McAmmond’s shorthanded goal on Brodeur during the 2007 Cup Run. I can’t find a clip of it, but this McAmmond to Saprykin goal was also pretty sweet.